Thanks to a gift of $1.425 million from Port Angeles resident, Dorothy Field, the Peninsula College Foundation has quickly acquired a location for the performing arts center envisioned by Donna Morris in her will. Using the donation from Field, the Foundation was able to purchase approximately 70,000 square feet of undeveloped real estate at the northwest corner of Front and Oak streets on the Port Angeles waterfront, commonly referred to as “the Oak Street property.”
The sale of the Oak Street property to the Foundation was privately negotiated with owners Mr. and Mrs. Tod E. McClaskey, Jr. of Vancouver, Washington, resulting in what is known as a “bargain sale,” with a purchase price that was $350,000 less than the appraised value of $1.76 million, allowing the McClaskeys to treat the difference as a charitable donation.
“We are grateful that the McClaskeys, who own the Olympic Lodge in Port Angeles, were willing to make this significant contribution to the project,” said Performing Arts Center (PAC) Committee Chairman, S. Brooke Taylor. “They had previously donated a permanent easement over a portion of the parcel to the City of Port Angeles for development of the new waterfront park and trail, leaving approximately 1.6 acres of land available for the performing arts center project.”
“Thanks to the generosity of Dorothy Field and the McClaskeys we now have in place a perfect downtown location for the facility envisioned by Donna M. Morris, and still have the entire Morris gift of $9 million intact,” said Taylor. “The PAC committee and the Peninsula College Foundation board are very excited about the possibilities.”
When asked about her motivation for a gift of this magnitude, Field replied, “I love Port Angeles and its arts community, and I just wanted to do my part.”
Ownership of the property will ultimately be transferred from the Foundation to a newly-created non-profit organization as soon as tax-exempt status has been granted by the IRS.
The next step in the project is the selection of an architectural firm to advise and consult regarding feasibility and design. Requests for proposals to selected firms chosen by the PAC Committee went out July 1 with responses required by August 12. Between now and then the Committee will be gathering input from the seven community entities named in the will:
1. Peninsula College
2. Peninsula College Foundation
3. City of Port Angeles
4. Port Angeles Fine Arts Center
5. Port Angeles Symphony
6. Community Players
7. Juan de Fuca Foundation
Public input will also be solicited through a needs-assessment process.
For information about the Donna M. Morris performing arts center project contact: S. Brooke Taylor, (360) 808-3936
For information about Peninsula College Foundation contact: Getta Rogers, (360) 417-6400